Hawaiian Worldview + Best Enterprise Practices = Impactful Island Enterprise

A Project of the Kamehameha Schools and Social-Impact International

We are recruiting for the next cohort of Hawaii Investment Ready. Is your enterprise:

  • in need of capital to scale;
  • serving local, regional and/or global customers;
  • pioneering solutions to social and/or environmental challenges;
  • leveraging the power of the Hawaiian worldview, and;
  • creating measurable impact?

Then Hawai’i Investment Ready program may be right for you. To learn more about our program you may want to attend our free “Warm Up” sessions in February. We will be running day long workshops on Hawai’i, Maui, and O’ahu from February 2nd to the 5th. If you are interested, please tell us more about your enterprise by clicking here.

Hawaii-cohortMeet our 2014 Hawaiian Social Entrepreneurs

Media/Communication: ʻŌiwi TV Hawaiian Worldview on Demand, Ku-A-Kanaka Everywhere, anytime Hawaiian Language 

Food Systems / Food Security: Town Local first, organic when possible, with Aloha always, MAʻO Farm Growing Organic Food and Young Leaders for a Sustainable Hawaiʻi, Street Grindz Fueling Hawaiʻi’s Mobile Food Community, Paepae oʻHeʻeia Building Community One Pōhaku at a Time, Local Catch Community Access to Local, Sustainable Seafood, Waipā Foundation Connecting People to the Land through Stewardship, Food and Culture 

Community Services: Nohopapa Hawaiʻi Linking Hawaiʻiʻs Past to its Future, Kupu Hawaiʻi Learn, Serve, Restore, Lunalilo Home Lunalilo’s Promise, Dignity for our Kupuna, Hawaiʻi Investment Ready Growing Sustainable Island Social Enterprise

Land Stewardship / Renewal: Kainalu Ranch Making a Living Out of a Way of Life, Pono Pacific Conservation Services for Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Region, Hui kū Maoli Ola Transforming Land Back to ʻAina

MA’O Organic Farms Wins Hawai’i Investment Ready Challenge

In November 2013, MA’O Organic Farms – a Wai’anae business growing organic food and young leaders – was awarded $75,000 in investment capital by the KL Felicitas Foundation – founded by Kamehameha Schools’ alumnus Lisa Porter Kleissner KSK’72.

The award was part of Hawai’i Investment Ready (HIR), a pilot program founded by Social Impact International and sponsored by Kamehameha Schools.

HIR is nurturing the next generation of social entrepreneurs – those who identify and solve social problems on a large scale. The six-month program equips entrepreneurs with tools for success including knowledge of branding, business modeling and financial analysis.

Upon completion of the program HIR links participants with investors.

“This program was designed around assets rather than liabilities, around collective betterment rather than individual enrichment,” said KS Land Assets Division director Neil Hannahs KSK’69.

“We engaged an inaugural cohort of brilliant social enterprises with track records of redefining wealth and restoring waiwai and momona to our lands and communities.”

The HIR inaugural cohort included 14 sustainable, innovative social enterprises – many of which are supported by Kamehameha Schools.

These organizations included ‘äina-based community collaborators Paepae o He’eia, Waipä Foundation, Hui Kü Maoli Ola, and Kupu Hawai’i; as well as commercial community partner Street Grindz, ‘Öiwi TV and others.

The program culminated with a Survivorstyle competition for the $75,000 in investment capital.

Each cohort member presented a business pitch and was judged by the other entrepreneurs. Various degrees of funding were solicited and secured at the event, but the business with the most votes won the $75,000.

MA’O Organic Farms founder Gary Maunakea-Forth presented a case for expanding his program which helps young leaders complete college in exchange for a commitment to farming. He was moved at being selected the winner by members of his cohort.

“We’ve been inspired and motivated by the people and projects of this HIR cohort,” Maunakea-Forth said. “It is humbling and gratifying to be acknowledged by a group of peers that we have so much respect for.

“The $75,000 will be important to help us expand our organic farming and youth education pathway operations. But the experience, learning, mentorship and camaraderie of the program have seriously been more important that the money.”